Friday, December 25, 2015

Orange and Berry Fruit Compote

I'm getting ready to go to our Christmas brunch and had fresh blueberries and raspberries but not enough to make something big so I decided to make a compote out of them with a can of Mandarin oranges to extend it a bit (One of my mom's tricks and skills she taught me.  She could extend everything to feed 8 kids.  This is my first year without her so this in honor of you mom).  Turned out pretty tasty.  I'll share because I think it is good enough to make again and share with others.

Try putting it over ham, pancakes, blintzes or crapes.  You can serve it warm or cold.  Try it hot on the top of ice cream.

¼ cup sugar (you may use less if you like)
1 can of Mandarin oranges with juice (I had a small can but you could use a large one also)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼  tsp. cinnamon 
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 Tbp. cornstarch
Pinch of salt (you can leave out but it increases the sweet taste)
Set half the juice of the canned Mandarin oranges aside.  In a pan pour in the balance of the can of oranges, blueberries, raspberries, sugar, pinch of salt, sugar and vanilla.  Cook until the berries begin to pop.

Make a slurry with the cornstarch and the ½ can of orange juice you set aside.  While the fruit is boiling add the slurry.  Pour slowly into hot mixture, stirring constantly until the compote is thickened to your satisfaction.  I did not use all of the slurry. Take off the heat and serve warm or you can put it in the refrigerator and serve it cold.  

Variation - Try making it with cranberries instead of oranges for a more holiday taste.

Wishing you and yours a very warm, safe, wonderful Christmas.  May God bless you and yours.   

Friday, August 28, 2015

Homemade Sage Sausage

Ground pork is on sale this week at Fareways.  Ten pounds is $1.49 a pound.  I cut it up and make several sausages from it and keep some just as ground pork for meatballs, etc. Making sage sausage this morning.  This is my own recipe that I have played with until I like it.  I encourage you to play with it to your liking.

Homemade Sage Sausage

2 pounds ground pork (you may substitute ground turkey)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoons thyme
¼ teaspoon rosemary
2 tablespoon light brown sugar 
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix all ingredients but you can use your hands.  Mix all of your seasoning together first.  Add ½ of the mixture to the sausage and mix.  Once well mixed add the balance of the mixture and mix until it is well mixed. 

Form one small patty and fry about 3 minutes on each side or until done.

Sample the patty to see if you are happy with the seasoning.  If you would like it a little sweeter you can add a little more brown sugar (or maple syrup).   I love sage.  It is so good for you that I’m not too careful measuring it.  I go heavy on it.  You can also add more pepper flakes if you like it hotter.  Create your own recipe by writing it down as you adjust it to your taste.

It is not just for breakfast.  I use it for sausage sage dressing.

I store mine in small baggies.  Before using it, you should let it sit for a day to let the seasonings be absorbed.   It keeps in the refrigerator for a week.  I freeze the rest.

Making your own sausage can save your a great deal of money.  The link sausage I buy for special occasions runs close to $2.50 a pound. Try making fresh Mexican or Italian sausage following the same method and tweak it to your liking.  You can find recipes with a Google search.  

Think we are having brupper (our term for breakfast/supper) here tonight.  Making creamed sausage on biscuits and muskmelon.  

Hope you have a wonderful day.  May God bless you and yours.   

Friday, August 21, 2015

Homemade Mexican Chorizo

It has been awhile since I've posted any recipe but thought this one was worth saving and passing on. For some reason I can't buy Chorizo sausage in Maquoketa any more so have to make my own.  My family loves it mixed with eggs for breakfast or what we call brupper (breakfast at supper).  We serve it with cheese mixed in the eggs and with warm tortillas to make our own breakfast burrito or just tear the tortilla apart and pick up the egg and chorizo mixture with the tortilla.  It is simple and filling.

Homemade Mexican Chorizo

2 lb. ground pork
2 tsp. cumin
½   tsp. ground cloves
½  tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tbsp. paprika mixed
1 tbsp. chili powder (you may wish to add more)
3 tbsp. apple cider

Mix spices until well combined.

In your Kitchen Aid using your paddle break up the ground pork.  Pour in the vinegar and half the spices, Spread them evenly on the pork, and start working it into the ground pork. Adding more of the spice mixture until it has all been used up. Keep working the meat until all the spices have been well combined into the meat.

Fry up a small patty of chorizo to taste.  Adjust by adding more spices to suit your taste.

It is best to let the chorizo sit overnight before cooking with it. This will allow all of the flavors to come together and make for a better tasting chorizo.

You can freeze the chorizo until you are ready to use it. Since this chorizo does not have casings you can form or shape sausages or patties and keep their form by wrapping them in plastic kitchen wrap. Another way to store the chorizo in the freezer is by portioning out amounts and storing it inside plastic bags. This way you defrost what you need or want without having to use the whole large batch.

Variations:  Like it hot?  Add some red pepper flakes.  You may also add black pepper to the mixture if you like.   Like more color?  Add more paprika and/or chili powder.  

It is also great in tacos and any other Mexican meat recipe you might have.  

I like to look for sales on ground pork.  Often I can find it in 10 pound packages for $1.99 a pound and I make my own sausage, both Italian and Chorizo.  Save a lot doing so. 

With weather changing and wanting to fix warm meals again, think I'll be making chorizo and eggs for my grandsons tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.  God bless you and yours.